Earth Eats is numero uno on Disney’s map of Food and Wine Festival Booths…or Kitchens…or Outdoor Marketplaces…or Kiosks…or Yurts…or whatever we’re calling them this year. Since just about everything is typically from the earth, we can hope fava beans and a nice chianti aren’t on the menu, or we may end up with an unwelcome guest. That would be me, stealing your wine and letting you known that your legumes are overcooked by at least two minutes. Being Disney, we can probably bet on a middling bean-esque substance and a bottle of wine that has spent more time aerating in a box in the Floridian sun than the Sangiovese grapes lasted on the vine. Where’s the Wine Bar George booth with a Super Tuscan? But alas. We went to Epcot.
The Three-Bean Chili replaces last year’s Impossible Farmhouse Meatball with Lentil Bread and all three drinks are new. Hannibal Lecter always struck me as more of a shrimp casserole guy, so I don’t think we need to be too concerned with his presence as he’s probably at ‘Ohana wondering when his Egg Fried Rice is going to arrive rather than waiting for what sounds like a few tragedies at Earth Eats.
The IMPOSSIBLE Burger Slider with Wasabi Cream and Spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun – $6
If you handed me a dish called IMPOSSIBLE ________, it would be quite clear that whatever you were handing me, was indeed, POSSIBLE. But I digress. Hence, our POSSIBLE SLIDER. Or if was impossible to pull off I’m guessing it doesn’t bode well for our $6. Vegetarian items continue to be the rage at Walt Disney World these days, but they have taken a backseat in the last year as Disney tries to right the ship without 95% vegetarian food that will dissolve in water.
IMPOSSIBLE signed an exclusive contract with Disney right around the time the Parks closed for a year. So it may be one step forward, two organic steps back on the meatless front. I enjoyed the vegan hot dog at Casey’s Corner of all places and deemed the Vegan Brat superior to the regular version over at Friar’s Nook, in addition to enjoying a similar link at Flame Tree Barbecue.
One does not need to eat strictly vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian food and we would all be better off by reducing our consumption of meat. With that said, what we were served with this Slider didn’t impress – the patty itself was dry and gritty and the Spicy Asian Slaw lacked any sort of kick and was also somehow dry, particularly with the shriveled greens stuck on top of them. The Wasabi Cream also lacked flavor and was more like a mayonnaise with a little tang than anything.
Vegetarians probably still want to seek one out as it’s one of the few non-dessert vegetarian items served at the Festival, but it still amounts to about four bites for the money. My assumption is that other people will have better luck down the line than we did, but those who do eat meat probably won’t find it a more compelling buy. I was still happy to have tried it, so you could give it a whirl at a price that won’t immediately send you to the poor house/Universal.
Impossible Three Bean Chili – $5.50
I guess we’ll ruin the rest of the Earth’s Eats menu options in one picture with the $5.50 Three Bean Chili up front. All three items are sitting on a small lamp post, so you can tell that the portion sizes won’t overwhelm for the money. I’m a two-items-per-lamppost guy typically. The Chili itself was pretty good for a vegan option that doesn’t bring any heat along with it, so if you’re looking for some spice, you’re much more likely to find a muted flavor palate. But it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s most of what vegetarians are after. Meat-eaters should save their money for Flavors from Fire as the…flavors….are a lot bolder and more meaty.
Spiced Apple Twinings of London Chai Tea – $4.50 or with Whiskey for $11
If you’re sitting there at home on the couch struggling with the two-step process of placing the tea bag into the tea cup filled with water, then boy do I have an opportunity for you. I know I’ve had my nights sitting there on the couch staring at the tea bag in one hand and the cup of water in the other and being completely befuddled as to how this whole process is supposed to go down. But if Ted Lasso can drink brown water so can I with my renewed spirit. The Chai brings a nice fall vibe with the spice of the cinnamon, which blends better alongside the whiskey version than the non-alcoholic version, which is a little overpowering on the spice in our experience. Both drinks are on the refreshing side, but be ready for that punch of spice.
Stephen Vincent Pinot Noir – $6.00
For a while, people would tweet me whenever they saw JOSH Cellars wines at the store. But the guy’s name isn’t even. It’s Joseph. And I don’t know any Josephs that go by Josh if there really are any. Joseph, should have probably named his winery CALIFNORIA LAME, in part because Joseph Cellars already exists. So I guess we got to the bottom of that mystery. Anyway, I wouldn’t badmouth something with my name on it, making this is a nicely-balanced red wine, combining a soft tannin structure with light raspberry and cherry notes finished with vanilla oak and enough acidity to make the sip go down (a little too) easy. It’s another nice wine to drink on a hot day, but the bottle will only run you about $14 in stores, making the pour an expensive proposition.
Overall, Earth Eats worked better when it was part of Active Eats and Coastal Eats just outside the (demolished) Club Cool and That Other Building with the Meet and Greet. It was easy to pick up a couple of items and convene in the center, feeling good about how your $8 can of Sparkling Lime Dasani makes you sporty by default Personally, I’m sticking to Factory Eats, which shouldn’t be a problem to find over the course of the next ~300,000 kiosks. I hear Italy has been working on their menu since the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis was signed in 1559, after a 65ish year war. It would just be nice if they made a fresher batch of food in the ~500 years since. But that’s Earth Eats.
Noodle Collection is up next.